Mafia 2 Hands-on: Engine details and first impression - Update: New screenshots and video
After a 30 minute presentation of Mafia 2 PC Games Hardware had a chance to talk to 2K Games producer Denby Grace who revealed some details about the engine of the game.
During an Xbox 360 presentation of Mafia 2 we got an impression of the gameplay and the visual appearance of the 2K Games development. While the former immediately delivers a flair that remembers of the popular predecessor, we are a little disappointed by the graphics: The version on display apparently doesn't support anti aliasing, the shadows are pixeled and seem to be of low resolution and the explosions are a little weak. In contrast to that there are amazingly animated and textured NPCs and a city that is twice as big as Lost Heaven in Mafia 1.
In an interview with Producer Denby Grace we learned that 2K Czech (formerly Illusion Softworks) has recreated the engine of Mafia 2 almost from scratch. The result is a D3D9 renderer - support for DX10 or DX11 has not been integrated. Mafia 2 is a pure cross platform title although the PC is said to be the lead platform. Due to the higher resolutions as well as additional GPU Physx particle effects, like dynamic, interactive smoke) the PC version will also offer better graphics than the console variant.
The Xbox 360 version is limited to 30 fps, while the Pc version will possibly have a 60 fps lock, but this has not been decided on yet - the developers note that a 60 fps lock would deliver a smoother gameplay since the framerate wouldn't vary too much. The performance, which currently is not convincing at all, isn't final, too. Heavy loading lags when streaming the "Seamless City” (more than 100 locations and that are supposed to be accessible without loading) leave a bad taste like the framerate drops that occur from time to time although he engine is multithreaded. But until the game is released in 2010 the code will be heavily optimized. Currently the developers focus on other things like the cinematic story.
From what we have seen and heard today, we think that Mafia 2 might be a Blockbuster, too - the game got all the necessary potential.
Update August 20, 2009
In addition to the hands-on of Mafia 2 we can now also offer a new video and new screenshots of the highly anticipated game. The pictures can be found in the gallery below the new video.
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